Monday, 22 October, 2018

Chip Hack a Sign of Chinese Cyber Threats to US, Officials Say

Chinese spying microchips found in Apple, Amazon computers: report Report: Amazon, And Apple Among Nearly 30 Firms Hit By China Chip Attack
Cristina Norman | 05 October, 2018, 08:40

Along with claiming that their servers were never compromised by Chinese intelligence agents, both companies also denied any involvement in a secret Federal Bureau of Investigation probe. Beijing has previously denied allegations of orchestrating cyber attacks against Western companies.

We are deeply disappointed that in their dealings with us, Bloomberg's reporters have not been open to the possibility that they or their sources might be wrong or misinformed. The report cited anonymous government and corporate insiders. The company has also written an entire blog post refuting the claims. One US official who said Thursday morning that the thrust of the article was true later expressed uncertainty about that conclusion.

The reported manipulation of electronics supply chains to USA companies are certain to sharpen long-standing questions about the crucial but uneasy relationship between the world's two leading economies.

"This report provides more evidence that China's pattern of behavior is a serious threat to national security and supply chain risk management", said said Senator Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee.

U.S. officials long have anxious about the potential for altered microchips or other components to be secretly inserted into products and shipped to the United States and elsewhere, opening doors to long-term spying on computer users and their information networks.

The idea that China has been installing mini-spies into American electronics has always been a fear of the American intelligence community, as the US's New Cold War adversary produces most of the gadgets used in the West.

The company is American, but the motherboards were assembled mainly in China.

According to the report Elemental's exposure to this supply chain attack was discovered in 2015 when the company was in due diligence with Amazon.com Inc. Apple removed all Super Micro servers from its data centers in 2016. "Supermicro has never been contacted by any government agencies either domestic or foreign regarding the alleged claims", according to a tweet by Wall Street Journal reporter Robert McMillan.

Amazon said in a statement that Bloomberg had made so many inaccurate claims, they're "hard to count".

Super Micro told Bloomberg: "While we would cooperate with any government investigation, we are not aware of any investigation regarding this topic nor have we been contacted by any government agency in this regard".

Supermicro could not immediately be reached for comment, but Bloomberg said the firm denied any knowledge of the espionage or investigation.

The malicious microchips, some of which were "not much bigger than a grain of rice", were developed by specialized unit of the People's Liberation Army and implanted into the motherboards in the production line in China, Bloomberg reports, describing the chips as being able to offer "stealth access" to companies' internal networks and data, allowing Chinese agents to steal away intellectual property and trade secrets.

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